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This poem is taken from PN Review 255, Volume 47 Number 1, September - October 2020.

The Day After: an Essay on Sophocles’ Farewell to Poetry
Translated By Gabriel Levin
Sharron Hass
Sophocles has a secret. He calls the secret
OEDIPUS AT COLONUS.

There are different ways to keep a secret. The most common being
heartbreak.

Day after day, at the end of working for eight hours
Nabokov had at best only 175 words.

Nabokov isn’t Sophocles. But towards the end
for both of them, like Shakespeare,
heartbreak wasn’t good enough

as the secret’s most common mechanism.
I’m not confused: this isn’t poetry
this is an essay on Sophocles’ farewell

to poetry; and nonetheless I’m writing
in short lines with gaps. This is another way
to sit on a rock like the aged
Sophocles.

A short line is far more similar to a rock
...


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